Green Room

Ridiculous spin of the day

posted at 11:11 pm on October 5, 2010 by

Doubleplusgood!

Republican leaders and their claque are promoting the idea that letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich expire would amount to a tax increase. The conservative lobbying organization Americans for Tax Reform says it would be “the largest tax hike in history.” Of course, that’s just standard talk for the ATR, which says it “opposes all tax increases as a matter of principle.” But many other Americans seem to have bought into that idea and the accompanying trickledown theory.

Lest anyone fall for this political explanation of what should happen to President George W. Bush’s gift to the millionaires and billionaires, here is the truth of the matter: Allowing the massive cuts to expire would not increase taxes, but rather it would simply undo an unwise and unfortunate tax reduction and let the tax level revert to that of the low-deficit Clinton years. Remember that as a time of budget surplus, not deficits.

Get that?

Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would “not increase taxes.” It would just “undo” a “tax reduction,” leading to a situation in which the government takes so much of our money that they will have surpluses. So take that, wingnuts! The government wouldn’t increase taxes, they’ll just let the tax rate “revert” to a time when they took more money out of our paychecks! That is different from a tax increase because they say it is!

The editorial then devolves further from there, recycling the class-warfare pablum about how only the super-mega-rich will be affected by the elimination of the tax cuts. The rest of us?

We’ll be fine. Just fine.

What really makes this editorial sad is that our founders enshrined journalism as a civil right because they knew a strong and independent press was essential to a healthy democracy. They believed politicians must be held accountable by those who purchase ink by the barrel.

Those who write editorials like this have no idea how badly they debase a profession our founders held in such esteem. They have become more invested in protecting an ideology than pursuing the ideal that the founders intended for their field.

And the worst part? They’re doing so willingly. Consider this: journalists in Soviet Russia had to be coerced into protecting the regime.

Ours volunteer for the duty.

Cross-posted at slublog.com

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*le sigh*

What really happened during the Clinton years was that the Republican Congress elected in 1994, and the rise of the dotcom boom reduced the negative impact of Clinton’s high levels of taxation. As the dotcom boom faded in 2000 and 2001, and 9-11 happened, the negative effects were starting to be felt, and thus the tax cuts.

Sekhmet on October 5, 2010 at 11:29 PM

hilariousness. pass a law cutting taxes specifying that the reduction is be temporary and end at a fixed date because you know that there will be pressure brought to extend that date and because you know that idiots will be saying that letting this lousy law expire be A TAX INCREASE!

thank you, slublog. you’re a useful one.

audiculous on October 5, 2010 at 11:36 PM

How horrible, indeed, to call it a tax increase when the tax rate goes up.

By that logic, it was not a tax cut when the tax rate went down.

Apparently, there has never actually been either a tax cut or a tax increase, because the first is stupid and the second isn’t an increase.

Taxes and government spending seem to be the only things that work this way. On the spending side, if the Democrats want to increase spending 10% and the Republicans want to increase it 5%, the Democrats call the Republican proposal “slashing spending,” and haul out the starving school children and old-people-eating-dog-food references, regardless of the issue at hand.

I suppose when Clinton raised the rate on top earners, that wasn’t a tax increase. I guess that’s because when Reagan cut the rate, that was just stupid. And the changes in tax rates in the ’70s, in the JFK term, in the ’40s, in the ’30s — none of these events were either cuts or increases. They were just stupid versus it’s-not-an-increase-you-idiot.

This does all seem like an unnecessary deviation from logic (rate goes up: increase; rate goes down: cut). There was history before 2001, after all. It’s not like tax rates sprang forth from Athena’s brow the day before Bush unconscionably lowered them for his dastardly purposes. Tax rates went up and down for decades.

There was even (earmuffs, kiddies) a time when we didn’t even have an income tax. Horrifying as it seems, during that desperate time — more than half the life of our Republic — it was not possible to point to an income tax rate as the rate we should have in order to be righteous and sanctified.

But, of course, when the income tax was instituted, that wasn’t a tax increase, even though the number technically went from 0% to higher than 0%. It was an it’s-not-and-increase-you-idiot.

A tortured thought process, I grant you.

J.E. Dyer on October 6, 2010 at 12:36 AM

tax level revert to that of the low-deficit Clinton years.

hummmmmmmmmm…

some how, I don’t see the spending levels reverting to the low deficit Clinton years. And if they did I am sure they would be referred to as SPENDING CUTS

roflmao

donabernathy on October 6, 2010 at 12:52 AM

•”Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”
- George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3

EliTheBean on October 6, 2010 at 1:16 AM

Do these knuckleheads even begin to grasp what words fall from their lips?

Do they even remotely connect this type of mumbo jumbo with why patriotic and conservative Americans discuss such things as flat taxes, term limits, reduction of gobble-it-all-up-ment?

Can they even fathom that the most charitable nation on the planet is willing to give freely for what they believe in? (not limited to money: includes life, blood, sweat and tears)

Why do they misjudge so?

Robert17 on October 6, 2010 at 6:55 AM

Don’t forget these are the dim sparks who voted for Obama!

Jack Bauer on October 6, 2010 at 8:40 AM

You f*cking geniues think that all those millions of people earning under a million bucks a year are somehow going to use their tax savings to invest in the economy? They’re not.

You have the world’s largest debt but your solution is to cut spending and do sweet f*ck all else.

Your country needs a national sales/VAT tax. Suck it up and pitch in. You’re all responsible for your country’s debt.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

No, Dave, what we need to do is send a second round of Tories/Copperheads north of the border, relieving them of their passports on the way. Worked for the Founders.

SDN on October 6, 2010 at 10:18 AM

The article is rather deceptive. They use the term “Budget Surpluses.” Even though that is technically true, it is only true because of the way Congress defines the budget. In actual fact, there is no year during the Clinton administration that this country didn’t go further into debt. Don’t believe me? Check it out at the Treasury’s Bureau of Public Debt.

Natrium on October 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM

Your country needs a national sales/VAT tax. Suck it up and pitch in. You’re all responsible for your country’s debt.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

GTFO. I’m baffled why anyone residing in America’s Hat would care about the tax policies of the US.

Nobody here gives a rats rear end about what happens in Canada or how much taxes you people pay. Go ruin some other nation…leave us out of it.

Asher on October 6, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Your country needs a national sales/VAT tax. Suck it up and pitch in. You’re all responsible for your country’s debt.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

If and ONLY if the income tax is totally repealed.

Our tax system needs simplifying…not adding new blanket taxes on top of the existing taxes.

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM

GTFO. I’m baffled why anyone residing in America’s Hat would care about the tax policies of the US.

Nobody here gives a rats rear end about what happens in Canada or how much taxes you people pay. Go ruin some other nation…leave us out of it.

Asher on October 6, 2010 at 10:29 AM
————
I’m compiling a collection of f*king stupid hotair comments that ask “duh, why is there someone here from outside our country??”

Congratulations. You’re in.

I’ll let you know when the site launches.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Your country needs a national sales/VAT tax. Suck it up and pitch in. You’re all responsible for your country’s debt.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

If and ONLY if the income tax is totally repealed.

Our tax system needs simplifying…not adding new blanket taxes on top of the existing taxes.

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 10:30 AM
——-
You need both.

Clearly your current system ain’t working.

Ironically, it’s rich people who benefit the most from your ludicrously complicated tax code. Do you think they’re going to let you go and simplify it? ha ha ha uhh, no.

Repealing the income tax code would mean the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I don’t understand what the uproar is about income taxes. You want nice common things, you gotta pay for them. And every citizen should feel the same amount of pain.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Giving the GOVERNMENT more money is not the answer. Getting them to SPEND LESS is. Do you have any idea the effect a VAT would have on the economy? Stripping another 10-15% out of people’s wallets would destroy it. You think foreclosures are bad now? Wait till the VAT gets in and the next hundreds of thousands of people on the border of foreclosure fall right into its gaping maw. Wait till retailers have to fire more staff because people stop buying things. Wait till the service sector gets taxed and crumbles. The biggest problem in the world today is the lack of economic understanding.

All of the socialist POS’ say look to Europe and how great their social-democracies are. Well go ahead and look to Europe, the majority of them are dismantling their little social-democracy fantasy worlds. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, etc, etc.

kerncon on October 6, 2010 at 10:43 AM

Ironically, it’s rich people who benefit the most from your ludicrously complicated tax code. Do you think they’re going to let you go and simplify it? ha ha ha uhh, no.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Ouch. Touche, Rywall, you have a point. People like you and I sure aren’t the ones who can afford a phalanx of lawyers to outwit the taxman…

Ideally, that fact would just mean we had a slightly bigger group to vilify until the thing got done, but I don’t know if America has the will anymore.

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Giving the GOVERNMENT more money is not the answer. Getting them to SPEND LESS is. Do you have any idea the effect a VAT would have on the economy? Stripping another 10-15% out of people’s wallets would destroy it. You think foreclosures are bad now? Wait till the VAT gets in and the next hundreds of thousands of people on the border of foreclosure fall right into its gaping maw. Wait till retailers have to fire more staff because people stop buying things. Wait till the service sector gets taxed and crumbles. The biggest problem in the world today is the lack of economic understanding.

All of the socialist POS’ say look to Europe and how great their social-democracies are. Well go ahead and look to Europe, the majority of them are dismantling their little social-democracy fantasy worlds. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, etc, etc.

kerncon on October 6, 2010 at 10:43 AM
——

Fine. Shrink federal and state government spending by 25%.
Cut police, fire, infrastructure, military, education – everything.
The country will fall apart and your debt will reduce by sweet. F*ck. All.
Oh, and the rich will be even better off than they are now. And they will be laughing.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Ouch. Touche, Rywall, you have a point. People like you and I sure aren’t the ones who can afford a phalanx of lawyers to outwit the taxman…

Ideally, that fact would just mean we had a slightly bigger group to vilify until the thing got done, but I don’t know if America has the will anymore.

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 10:51 AM
——
I don’t understand this arbitrary tax breaking point everyone has and the blind “the rich already pay enough taxes” garbage. What is the problem with paying 10-15% more taxes? Ooh, all those people earning 250-750,00 are going to stop opening all those small businesses they’re allegedly starting every hour on the hour. These people are not driving the economy forward. They’re stockpiling their money away to preserve their quality of life.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM

These people are not driving the economy forward. They’re stockpiling their money away to preserve their quality of life.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:07 AM

Yeah, but who DOESN’T that describe anymore? :p

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Yeah, but who DOESN’T that describe anymore? :p

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 11:25 AM
——
True.

Those entry level “rich” between 250-750 are counting their lucky stars that they have half the country fighting for lower taxes for them when paying an extra 10-15% wouldn’t affect their lifestyle one bit.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:39 AM

An idea – how about a big fat tax break for every new employee hired since a certain date? Prove you’ve hired someone to do something for at least 40 hours a week, for at least minimum wage, and you get it. They can be paid to twiddle their thumbs for all I care.

Dark-Star on October 6, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Yes, but it would effect the unemployed and their lifestyle. Here is a very important point to consider, it’s their money, not yours or the government’s. How does giving more of your money to an entity that produces nothing. i.e. the government create wealth or jobs? Don’t give me that cutting police, fire and water crap either, that is paid for at the local and state level through property and sales tax, we have a Federal income tax, a SS and Medicare tax that has collected trillions and the government has wasted it. We have a Department of Commerce that does not engage in Commerce, a Department of Agriculture that grows nothing and a Department of Education that educates no one, it just hands out arbitrary mandates. Your solution is to give them more money? You are so comprehensively ignorant on economics I don’t know where to start. First off, government doesn’t create a demand and they certainly don’t create a supply. Why does an idiot like you think you are entitled to someone else’s wealth and labor by government proxy in the first place. Giving the government 10 to 15 percent more money is just 10 to 15 percent more money they will waste, they don’t know what things cost, they don’t produce anything, as I mentioned before.

celtnik on October 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM

celtnik on October 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM
——–
You have a huge debt that has to get paid down, and the rich paying a bit more taxes isn’t going to affect them whatsoever.

And your government does, actually, create some “wealth or jobs”:
1.5 million in military + 1.5 million reservists getting paid 150+ billion dollars sure sounds like job creation to me. I wonder what those 3 million people do with that 150+ billion….

But sure, yeah, by all means, go cut your 25% of programs and fat. You won’t be any further ahead. Sh*t will begin to fall apart.

And when I talk about taxes, I mean all levels of tax, from property tax to state to federal to any other way a level of government gets you to pay.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Hey, Dave, ever hold a job yourself? Just asking.

Robert17 on October 6, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

Creating jobs and wealth are two different things. Government jobs don’t create wealth because they don’t produce a product that is sold on the open market that people choose to buy. The government has to take that money from private sector producers to pay government employees. Seriously, are you really that dumb? Even though military service members don’t produce wealth, National Defense is one of the few things the Federal government is constitutionally mandated to spend money on.

“You have a huge debt that has to get paid down, and the rich paying a bit more taxes isn’t going to affect them whatsoever.”

Again, it’s not your money, and yes it will affect them and the people they employ since it is the wealthy that create jobs. The top 10% of earners pay 73% of the income taxes in this country, 47% don’t pay at all. When you cut taxes, the despised “rich” have more capital to invest in their businesses which creates more jobs which creates mores taxpayers. It is a historical fact that this method has increased tax receipts, the problem is government doesn’t stop spending money on things private industry and individuals can provide themselves better than the government.

“But sure, yeah, by all means, go cut your 25% of programs and fat. You won’t be any further ahead. Sh*t will begin to fall apart.”

Really Dave, you got those numbers on you. Second, define “sh*t” and lastly you called it “fat”; do you mean that in a pejorative sense, or do you approve of the government wasting money?

celtnik on October 6, 2010 at 2:35 PM

You f*cking geniues think that all those millions of people earning under a million bucks a year are somehow going to use their tax savings to invest in the economy? They’re not.

What the hell do you think we do, Dave? Just stuff it all under the mattress? Just because we’re not millionaires doesn’t mean we’re f-ing poor you classless Canadian.

You have the world’s largest debt but your solution is to cut spending and do sweet f*ck all else.

Yes, and raising taxes during a recession is a brilliant idea. All so Democrats can give more money to their special interest groups.

Your country needs a national sales/VAT tax. Suck it up and pitch in. You’re all responsible for your country’s debt.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 10:14 AM

How about f-off, Canadian. It’s our country, not yours. Feel free to donate though if you’re so worried.

Esthier on October 6, 2010 at 3:47 PM

You have a huge debt that has to get paid down, and the rich paying a bit more taxes isn’t going to affect them whatsoever.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM

That’s demonstrably stupid. This is the Democrat shallowness in a nut shell, that all the money in the world is just a stupid pie. Raising taxes and lowering taxes only determines how much of the pie is going to the government and can do nothing whatsoever to shrink or enlarge the pie.

This is why you people think you can spend your way out of a recession and why our economy has yet to recover.

Esthier on October 6, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Fine. Shrink federal and state government spending by 25%.
Cut police, fire, infrastructure, military, education – everything.
The country will fall apart and your debt will reduce by sweet. F*ck. All.
Oh, and the rich will be even better off than they are now. And they will be laughing.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Just because you’re too stupid to understand what needs to be cut and what doesn’t, doesn’t mean Americans are. Both sides agree that spending and deficits under Clinton were more acceptable than what’s currently happening. Somehow we still had police and fire fighters way all that long time ago.

Esthier on October 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Just because you’re too stupid to understand what needs to be cut and what doesn’t, doesn’t mean Americans are. Both sides agree that spending and deficits under Clinton were more acceptable than what’s currently happening. Somehow we still had police and fire fighters way all that long time ago.

Esthier on October 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM
——-
I guess the GOP is too stupid to know what too cut since they stumble and mumble and change the subject every time they’re asked.

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 4:22 PM

Dave Rywall on October 6, 2010 at 4:22 PM

And I guess your solution is not to cut anything and instead let the government nationalize another industry they don’t know how to run. Since, as I said before, they don’t know what things cost because they don’t produce anything, and they have eliminated competition, costs will skyrocket. More layers of bureaucracy will be added and paid for by continuing to over-tax the producers, which will never be able to cover the costs of an entity that can just spend and spend without having to balance it’s budgets because it’s income comes from taxation and not production and sales. Then you complain about debt? Idiot.
This brilliant model has worked so well for your country, Quebec especially. Like I said before, completely ignorant of economics and history.

celtnik on October 6, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Let’s be clear, here.

Millionaires may just stockpile their money. That’s their right.

But where do they stockpile it? Probably not in the mattress. They’ll do it in a bank, or perhaps in a mutual fund based on stock.

If you put your money in a bank, that bank will take your money and use it to create loans for people who _do_ want to start a business. Or what about stocks? Stocks, in essence, is investing in a company. You give them your money in exchange for more money later. How can the company make any money on stock? By using it to make more money.

This is how our economy works. Please don’t try to say that millionaires don’t create jobs. They may not _directly_ create jobs. But if a company expands, they must hire more people, or use technology to offset people, and that technology must be produced by other people. At bottom, someone has to do the work. And since slavery is illegal in the United States, work equals jobs.

Therefore, taxing the rich (who by your own admission have more discretionary income to put in banks and the stock market!) reduces the level of investment (whether directly in stocks or indirectly through banks). Investment is one of the primary methods for wealth creation, which leads to job creation.

I learned this in high school. I don’t understand people who cannot grasp this simple concept.

Scott H on October 6, 2010 at 10:23 PM

I’ve heard the democrats use that argument before.

Blake on October 7, 2010 at 8:09 AM